by KIM HILSENBECK
Construction on the road improvement project on the northern section of FM 1626 is progressing as planned, according to Hays County Commissioner Mark Jones.
“We’re about six percent into the project and everything is on schedule,” Jones said.
Next week, the construction crew from SEMA will create a temporary detour road until the new bridge and lanes are completed.
Jones said that at no time during the project will the entire road be closed to thru traffic. However, drivers should be aware that a flagger operation is in place Monday through Friday and should use extra caution when traveling through the construction zone.
He expects the construction on the northern section to be complete by October of 2014.
Jones also updated the Hays Free Press on several other current or future road projects, including shoulders and a turn lane into Ruby Ranch off of FM 967.
He said Hays County is also gearing up to work on the ramps and turn arounds on Interstate Highway 35 in Kyle. Eventually, Jones said, there will also be a turn lane into the Hays athletic ball fields on FM 2770.
According to Jones, the county has about $34 million in savings from a previous bond that should pay for most of the planned construction.
In other news, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) recently appointed Jones, along with Travis County Commissioner Gerald Dougherty and Austin City Councilman Bill Spillman as co-chairs of the SH 45 project.
Jones said the project will move forward, despite years of delays and diversions.
“It’s not a matter of if, but how,” he said.
The original plans for S.H. 45 were for a toll road. Jones said the plan now is to build it as a two, three or four-lane county road.
Jones said he is hosting a Town Hall Meeting in Kyle to discuss current and future projects in Hays County Precinct 2. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 28, at the new Precinct 2 building at 5458 FM 2770 in Kyle. He will hold a similar meeting in Buda in March.